Rebecca Smith

Health Reporter

Rebecca Smith is a reporter and producer for the KBIA Health & Wealth desk. She was born and raised in Rolla, Missouri, and graduated with degrees in Journalism and Chemistry from Truman State University in May 2014. Rebecca comes to KBIA from St. Louis Public Radio, where she worked as the news intern and covered religion, neighborhood growth and the continued unrest in Ferguson, MO.

Ways to Connect

MU School of Medicine
File Photo / KBIA

Sprouty2, which is known as a tumor suppressor gene, is a human gene that previous research has shown protects against the metastasis or spread of breast, prostate and liver cancers.

But Sharad Khare, an associate professor of research in the MU School of Medicine’s Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, alongside his research team has shown in a recently published article that this gene may not be helping the body in some colorectal cancer cases.

Joe Gratz / Flickr

U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey granted Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri a preliminary injunction against the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on Monday.

This prevents the Department from revoking the Columbia clinic’s ambulatory surgical center license, which allows abortion services to be offered. 

The Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic cannot offer abortion services at the moment because their doctor’s privileges at the University of Missouri Hospital were eliminated back at the beginning of December.

With just a little over a month left in the third open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, some people may need a little additional help getting insurance through the ACA.

Health insurance can be a confusing topic, with its array of terminology and choices to puzzle through, from premiums and co-pays, to deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

A national survey by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that more than 70 percent of people surveyed after the last open enrollment period said they wanted one-on-one assistance enrolling in insurance coverage.

And people can find the help they seek in an unexpected place: their public library. While libraries are better known for books, story time and due dates – since the launch of the ACA, many libraries across the United States have embraced a new role as a go-to community resource for information on health insurance.


Rebecca Smith / KBIA

The Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic will retain its license to operate an abortion facility until at least late December.

Following the issuance of a temporary restraining order against the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) on Monday, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey ruled Wednesday to extend the temporary restraining order until a preliminary injunction hearing could be held.

This ruling prevents the Department from revoking the Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic’s license to operate an abortion facility.

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

A federal judge, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey, has blocked the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services from revoking the abortion facility license of the Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic.

According to the Associated Press, the temporary restraining order will expire Wednesday after another hearing. 

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

The Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic could potentially lose its license to provide abortion services at midnight on Monday, November 30.

The University of Missouri Health Care System announced in September its “refer and follow” privileges would be discontinued. This category of privileges had been granted to the doctor working with the Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia, and had allowed the clinic to renew abortion services for the first time since 2012.  

Columns at University of Missouri
File Photo / KBIA

Some University of Missouri students are expressing frustration with the campus chancellor after a Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic stopped performing abortions.

Mizzou for Planned Parenthood organizer Dina van der Zalm said a Wednesday meeting with interim Chancellor Hank Foley to talk about how the school could help the clinic was canceled.

Laura McQuade, the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said they received a call Tuesday night informing them that interim Chancellor Foley had no time for the Wednesday meeting.

Bram Sable-Smith/KBIA

Monday, after the resignation of University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe and the announcement that MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin would be stepping down at the end of the year, a video appeared that shows an altercation between members of the press and a group of activists gathered on Carnahan Quadrangle – near the Concerned Student 1950 campsite.

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA

The University of Missouri Board of Curators has announced that Mike Middleton, an MU deputy chancellor emeritus, will be the interim president for the UM System. 

Middleton replaces Tim Wolfe as UM System President, after Wolfe resigned his position on Monday following calls from students for his resignation and a football team strike. 

Middleton says he hopes he can help the system move forward.

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

  On the same day the University of Missouri System president resigned, the chancellor of the Columbia campus has also announced he will be stepping down at the end of the year.

Just hours after UM System President Tim Wolfe announced his resignation, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said he will also be stepping down. 

tim wolfe
Janet Saidi / KBIA

In response to recent protests and controversies, University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe resigned from office in a public statement made at the University of Missouri Board of Curators' special meeting Monday morning. 

Prior to the resignation, on Sunday afternoon, a statement from President Wolfe was released by his office, but he did not make an in-person appearance.

tim wolfe
Janet Saidi / KBIA

There was a rush of local and national media attention Sunday after the students of color on the Mizzou Tigers Football team’s Saturday announcement that they would not take part in any “football related activities” until University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe either resigned or was removed from office due to his “negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences.”

On Sunday afternoon, a statement from President Wolfe was released by his office, but he did not make an in-person appearance.

KBIA

Athletes of color on the University of Missouri's football team will no longer be participating in any “football related activities” until the President of the University of Missouri system, Tim Wolfe, either resigns or is removed from office “due to his negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences.”

 

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Imagine going to a doctor’s appointment and not knowing how to get to the office, not understanding the complicated health care system and not speaking the language of the health care provider you were seeing.

Well, this can be the case for many new refugees settling in the US, and one Columbia agency, Refugee and Immigration Services, has partnered with senior nursing students from the Sinclair School of Nursing for the past few years, to help bridge those gaps. The Health Navigation Program helps new refugees learn how to efficiently and effectively navigate the health care system.


Rebecca Smith / KBIA

In rural communities, finding transportation to basic health care services can be difficult. So what if instead of making people come to health care – the health care came to them?

Well, the Mobile Mammography Van through Ellis Fischel Cancer Center is working to do just that - bringing preventative mammogram screenings to rural communities.


American Psychiatric Association

The Missouri Health Home program will be receiving a Gold Achievement Award for community-based services on Thursday from the American Psychiatric Association. This is one of four awards given out by the American Psychiatric Association every year to outstanding mental health programs.

Teens may not be the first demographic to come to mind when thinking about solving the problem of domestic and sexual violence, but for Becky Vermeire, who runs a domestic violence agency in rural Missouri, they are key.

“The way that we are going to prevent [domestic violence] is working with our kids,” Vermeire said. “If we are really going to make a dent in what we are doing for the future, it’s that prevention piece.”


Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Family Health Center opened back in 1992, and is Columbia’s federally qualified health center, which gets federal funding to assist low-income and medically underserved populations.

Over the years it has expanded to include not just medical services, but also mental health and dental services. And then, more recently, has opened two satellite clinics in rural Missouri – Salisbury and Marceline.

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

On the heels of a decision made last Thursday that could leave Columbia - once again - without a doctor able to perform abortions, about 1000 people gathered on the University of Missouri campus Tuesday to voice their support of Planned Parenthood.

Speakers at the event ranged from a religious leader, to politicians, to MU graduate students and Planned Parenthood leadership. This event was a part of a national “Pink Out Day” and similar events were being held around the country.


Talking Politics - Planned Parenthood

Sep 29, 2015
Attorney General's Office

Last Thursday, the University of Missouri Health Care System announced it would be eliminating "refer and follow" privileges.

On the heels of this decision, Attorney General Chris Koster announced Monday the results of his office's investigation into the St. Louis Planned Parenthood clinic and its handling of fetal tissue.  

Marshall Griffin has the story.


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